Inside the Collection

Be Under .05 Or Under Arrest – NSW Police Random Breath Testing

December 31, 2012

Damian McDonald
This time of year is one of consumable abundance in Australia. We are encouraged to indulge in large quantities of high calorie, highly processed sugar-rich foods; and to consume alcohol. Although a legal and celebrated intoxicant, alcohol is a strong mood altering drug, and consumption levels can be quite difficult to gauge.

Cas and Jonsey’s Christmas in Antarctica 2011

December 25, 2012

Margaret Simpson
It's exactly a year to the day since Australian adventurers, James Castrission and Justin Jones, celebrated Christmas in Antarctica during their trek from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and return.

All I want for Christmas is a Bugatti racing car

December 24, 2012

Margaret Simpson
The Museum's magnificent 1928 Type 37A supercharged Grand Prix Bugatti racing car would be on many a visitor's Christmas wish list. The car was the work of the brilliant designer, Ettore Bugatti (1881-1947).

Afghan camel pack saddle

December 23, 2012

Margaret Simpson
With Christmas almost upon us and countless nativity plays and greeting cards featuring wise men and camels, my thoughts turn to a rare and interesting item in the Museum's collection I researched a number of years ago, a camel pack saddle.

Oscar and Reuben

December 21, 2012

Charles Pickett
 The recent death of Oscar Niemeyer has attracted glowing tributes from around the world. As well as being truly venerable (104 years old) and extraordinarily prolific (about 400 projects), Niemeyer (or just Oscar as he is usually known in Brazil) was the last of the great Modernists.

Apollo 17-An Unexpected Legacy

December 20, 2012

Kerrie Dougherty
You’ve probably seen the image above many times: it is, after all, said to be the most widely reproduced image in history. However, you may not be aware that it was taken during the Apollo 17 mission, NASA’s last lunar landing mission, that came to a successful conclusion 40 years ago today.

Explosion… A Sony Mavica guide to digital migration

December 19, 2012

Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences
This camera, a Sony Mavica FD-91 is a remarkable display object, as testified by more than a decade on display in our Cyberworlds gallery. Not only was it purchased and purposefully dismantled (or exploded) to display the mechanism and electronic engineering of the camera, but it stands as a crossover piece between things that are built from materials (plastics, metals, electronics) and things that are birthed from objects like it; things that are ‘born digital.’ It was collected and remains an important teaching tool for a range of age groups.

Dolls houses, old, new and making do

December 17, 2012

Nicole Balmer
Christmas is that time of year when thoughts of toys are unavoidable. Personally, I love dolls houses, the way the everyday boring world suddenly becomes special when replicated in miniature. Dolls houses provoke inventiveness and problem solving.

Wes Standfield’s Supreme mousetrap-making machine

December 15, 2012

Debbie Rudder
Wes Standfield's Supreme mousetrap-making machine has been very popular with visitors to the Powerhouse Discovery Centre since 2007. Definitely a ‘cracking contraption’, it is making its debut appearance at the Powerhouse Museum in conjunction with Wallace & Gromit’s World of Invention.

Tribute to Harry Rogers: legendary Qantas poster designer

December 14, 2012

Anne-Marie Van de Ven
Sadly, the Powerhouse Museum farewelled two more supporters this year – poster artist Harry Rogers (b. 20 November 1929 – d.19 May 2012) and his wife Valmai (Val) Rogers, who died on 23 November 2012.

All I want for Christmas is a rocking horse

December 12, 2012

Margaret Simpson
One of the classic images of the Victorian Christmas was the rocking horse which still features on cards today. At the turn of the twentieth century horses were still a vital part of life. In the country they provided muscle for many farm operations, and in the town they powered transport.

Memento Mori- Mourning dress in Australia

December 10, 2012

Anni Turnbull
Victorian mourning tradition included from commissioning clothing, jewellery and accessories, to the more unusual traditions like post mortem photography. I was interested in taking a closer look at this forgotten practice of excess in the Australian tradition, uncovering the extensive practices of widows in the Victorian era.